Beltsville, Md. — In an unusual move for the camera retailer, Ritz Camera has picked up two SKUs of BenQ LCD monitors with an integrated Digital Photo Frame feature.
Ritz will not typically support a PC-oriented product unless it has stand-alone photography features, said John Bell, sales manager, BenQ. The two BenQ monitors, the 15-inch FP591 and 17-inch FP791, can double as either a computer monitor or a stand alone digital photo frame with inputs for SD/MMC, Smart Media and CompactFlash cards.
The monitors do not support Memory Stick or the xD Picture Card. Consumers use the on screen display to control the image views: either a single view or in a slideshow.
The LCD monitors will initially be sold in the larger Ritz Super Store locations (of which there are 68 nationwide) and if they do well, will be rolled out to the larger national network of Ritz Camera Center stores, Bell said.
The 15-inch monitor has a suggested retail price of $479 and the 17-inch will retail for a suggested $639. Both have been shipping to other retail outlets for several months, Bell said, but Ritz will be the first photo-oriented retail outlet for BenQ, though 'hopefully not the last.'
BenQ is looking to position the monitors against other digital frame companies and secure wider distribution in the photo specialty channel, Bell said.
'Unlike many PC customers, the Ritz customer isn’t shopping for price, they’re looking for features, so it takes some of the price pressure off of us,' said Bell.